What is Smelt, American smelt (Osmerus mordax)?

Smelt, American smelt Smelt, American smelt

Common names for Smelt, American smelt

Rainbow smelt, spirling, saltwater smelt, freshwater smelt, icefish

Other languages for Smelt, American smelt

  • French name: Éperlan de lac
  • Italian name: Sperlano
  • German name: Stint

Introduction to Smelt, American smelt

The most frequent of the nine smelt species present in North American waterways is the ubiquitous rainbow smelt, which is found in the western Atlantic and Pacific seas, as well as the Arctic Sea. It is a mostly inshore, anadromous fish that spends the majority of its life in saltwater but migrates to freshwater lakes and steams to breed in the spring. Smelt, on the other hand, are a very adaptable species, and landlocked populations have established themselves from Maine to the Great Lakes and southeastern Canada. Commercial smelt fisheries are concentrated in the Great Lakes, along the Canadian coast in New Brunswick, and along the Maine coast. Though the harvest is highest in the spring, ice fisherman also target smelts. According to legend, the silvery little fish get their name from the Anglo-Saxon word “smoelt,” which means “bright.” They are prized for their lovely, fresh aroma, which is evocative of newly mowed grass or thinly sliced cucumber, earning them the moniker “cucumberfish.”

Product profile for Smelt, American smelt

Rainbow smelts on the market are around 6 inches long and have olive-green skin with a silvery shine. Smelts have fragile bones, thus tiny, cooked H&G smelts can be eaten with all of their bones. The cooked flesh flakes easily from the bones of bigger smelts. It’s also possible to consume the delicate skin. Smelts have a lean, white meat that cooks to become white, delicate, and flaky. It has a light, sweet taste.

Cooking tips for Smelt, American smelt

Smelts that are larger can be butterflied or filleted for broiling or grilling, or baked whole. However, 6-inch smelts are the most common, and they are cooked and consumed whole (with or without head and viscera). Smelts are traditionally prepared by dipping them in batter and deep-frying them, or by dredging them in flour or bread crumbs and pan-frying them.

Nutrition facts for Smelt, American smelt

Calories: 97 Fat Calories: 21.6 Total Fat: 2.4 g Saturated Fat: 0.5 g Cholesterol: 70 mg Sodium: 60 mg Protein: 17.6 g Omega 3: 0.7 g

Primary product forms for Smelt, American smelt

Fresh: Whole, H&G Frozen: H&G Value-added: Canned

Global supply for Smelt, American smelt

Canada, United States, Iran